Stamford church targets holiday grinches

STAMFORD — The Church of Christ the Healer is exploring the “Grinches Who Steal Christmas Joy and the Gifts that Get it Back.” The grinches under fire are gluttony (11/29), guilt (12/6), greed (12/13) and gloom (12/19-20).

“These often impede our enjoyment of what is intended to be a season of love and joy and peace,” said Rev. Kate Heichler. “But the Grinches don’t get the last word. We will also explore their antidotes: gratitude, grace, generosity and gladness.”

The series will take place at the church’s weekly 10 a.m. Sunday worship service, and will use humor, drama, contemporary music and interactive prayer to explore ways to get free of these conditions. The Dec. 6 service focusing on guilt will feature a drama set amidst the frenzy of a shopping mall at holiday time. On December 13th, when the Grinch under examination is the greed that can grip many at this frantic time, the service will include a time to celebrate the gifts congregants are buying to help make Christmas happen for a family in need.

Dec. 19 will feature Christ the Healer’s annual Longest Night service, an opportunity to look at and release some of the grief and gloomier feelings many feel in December, perhaps because the holidays were not happy times for them in their youth, or because they miss loved ones, or because stress or despair of job loss and economic hardship. The focus of this service is not on gloom, but on finding God’s grace and glory in the midst of them. Those who have attended in past years said they have experienced healing and were better able to enjoy the holiday time.

Advent is a season of preparation for Christmas, and Christ the Healer seeks creative ways to help people slow down and feel some peace.

“Everyone is welcome,” said Heichler, “no matter where we are in terms of what we believe. Come and explore.”

Nursery care and activities for children are provided, as are refreshments after the service each week. Christmas Eve services will be held at 5 p.m. (family service) and 10 p.m. (festival eucharist) on Dec. 24.

Christ the Healer is located at 20 Brookdale Road, at the corner of High Ridge Road, 1.5 miles north of Exit 35 of the Merritt Parkway. For more information, call Heichler or the church office at 203-322-6991, or check the website, www.christthehealerstamford.org.

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